I can’t brag, my interest in shopping nearby started as a convenience thing. I don’t want to have to get in the car and drive when I have a last minute craving, and the only way to maintain the convenience of a local convenience store, is to keep it in business.
When I was a new business owner I felt firsthand the challenges of being a small, independent business. Looking around, I became newly inspired to support the businesses local to me. Call it solidarity.
Then there was the dawning of a greater economic reality. Building strong communities requires a strong economy to keep them going. That means keeping the flow of money local, not shipping profits off somewhere far away where it isn’t going to provide value or support systems to the community that spent it.
Then the local bug became entrenched because I really enjoy knowing the people I do business with. I like being recognized when I stop in and picking up where we left off in yesterday’s conversation. It’s those little things that create a sense community.
And now it’s about our health and future. Who controls our food? Where does it come from? Do we even know what it contains, whether it’s real? If someone I know grew it, I can answer those questions.
So I say, buy local. Do it for convenience, do it for improved taste or because it feels good, do it for economics or to benefit your kids. For whatever reason you do it, just do it.